Friday, December 14, 2012

Honey Pie (GF)

Contrary to how it may seem, I have not completely abandoned my blog. It has been difficult lately to find a balance, and I am constantly thinking about all of the recipes and photography I had hoped to share in the first half of December, but I know that it is nearly impossible to catch up. Nevertheless, I am trying my best now to whip up some of the ideas I had conjured in my head long ago, and make the most of this time leading up to the holidays.

I just attended an incredible week long photography course at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. For the first time I finally feel like I can use some technique in my photography and have more control over the outcome of my images rather than relying on the automatic setting alone.

While I was shooting away with my camera in and around Santa Fe, I became inspired to begin a collection of wintery New Mexico themed images of places and things that, for me, are reminiscent of the holidays at this time of year. I especially love the many unique cultural aspects of a New Mexican Christmas. Hopefully, should I have enough time, I would like to share some photos of New Mexico places and cuisine that make this time of year so special for me.  

In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this salty honey pie. It is the first time I have made a pie of this nature, as I am usually partial to the fresh fruit filled kind. After visiting Honeyville near Durango, Colorado, I went a little honey crazy. We now have a kitchen cabinet full of jars of the sticky golden stuff. I used a simple mountain wildflower honey for this recipe, but I am also anxious to try some of the spiced and fruit scented whipped honeys that I was convinced I had to buy.

The contrast of the sweet, nutty honey and the spike of sea salt is perfect. Lately I have been wanting to make more baked goods dairy free as well as gluten free. I find that coconut milk from a can is a fine replacement for cream and I love how similar Earth Balance is to butter.

Buckwheat Pie Shell (GF)
makes one 9- inch pie shell

3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sweet white rice flour
3 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
1/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, cold, cut in pieces
1 large egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons cold water

1. In a food processor, mix the buckwheat flour, almond flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch, and sugar until well combined. Add the cold Earth Balance and pulse until the Earth Balance is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine. Gradually add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until a dough begins to form when pressed together between two fingers. Do not over mix. Remove the pastry from the food processor, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Press the dough into a 9 inch pie pan. Trim edges and remove excess dough. Return the pie shell to the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 30 minutes. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork, cover with a 9 inch circle of parchment paper, and weigh down with dry beans or pie weights. Bake about 7 minutes (just to partially bake) then remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe for pie crust adapted from Stephanie Shih of Desserts for Breakfast for Anthology Magazine

Salted Wildflower Honey Pie (GF) 
makes one 9- inch custard pie

1 par- baked buckwheat pie shell
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup wildflower honey
3 eggs
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
coarse or flake sea salt, for finishing

1. Melt the Earth Balance and combine with the sugar, salt and cornmeal to make a thick paste. Add the honey, vanilla and vinegar and mix together. Fold in the eggs, add the coconut milk and blend.
2. Pour the filling into the par-baked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 60 minutes (if the pie shell begins to brown, cover it with a shield or foil). The filling will puff up like a marshmallow and the center will be just slightly wobbly. Once cooled (at least 1 hour), finish with a sprinkling of sea salt. Slice and serve with freshly whipped coconut milk.

Recipe for pie filling adapted from Melissa and Emily Elsen of Four and Twenty Blackbirds via South Brooklyn Post

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